As of 2008, only four other states in the country contain more residents than Illinois. For ghost hunters, that means more ghost tours and, potentially, more ghosts. Illinois has allegedly haunted homes, cemeteries, streets and waterways. Ghost enthusiasts can find various types of ghost tours in Illinois, some of which are hosted by paranormal societies.
Chicago Ghost Investigations
Chicago Ghost Investigations (ghostsofchicago.com), a paranormal research society, offers tours with a twist. The guests become the ghost hunters. Paranormal investigators teach the guests how to use ghost-hunting equipment and advise them on techniques to develop their psychic ability. Each group is brought to a haunted house and given free rein to explore, with the guidance of the investigators.
Illinois Hauntings Ghost Tours
Illinois Hauntings (illinoishauntings.com) provides a variety of ghost tours throughout the state. Areas of service include Jacksonville, Decatur, Alton, Lebanon and Chicago. In Jacksonville, for example, the tour takes guests on a roughly 2 1/2- to 3-hour walking tour of the old downtown area. Among the sites visited are the Illinois Theatre, the Noir Art Emporium and Old Norris Hospital. Loren Hamilton, a representative of the American Ghost Society, hosts the Jacksonville tour. Some of the tours are overnight ghost hunts. The guides are authors, paranormal investigators and historians. Illinois Hauntings Ghost Tours will stage special events for private parties, bachelorette parties and even pub crawls.
Historic Ghost Tours of Naperville
Historic Ghost Tours of Naperville (historic-ghost-tours-naperville.com) are roughly 2-hour walking tours, covering the downtown area, the North Central College campus and the historic district. Diane Ladley, president of Historic Ghost Tours, author and storyteller, frequently accompanies guests on the tour while telling scary stories about alleged local hauntings. Each guest is provided with an electromagnetic field meter, which reportedly can detect spirits. Separate tours devoted to the historic district and the Naperville Riverwalk are also available.
Haunted Chicagoland Tours
Dale Kaczmarek and Excursions Into The Unknown, Inc. (ghostresearch.org) offer tours of haunted Chicago. The tours leave from Westfield Mall in Chicago on board a bus and are 3 to 4 hours long. Dale Kaczmarek, a paranormal researcher, lecturer and author, hosts all of the Haunted Chicagoland bus tours.
- U.S. Census Bureau: State Rankings--Statistical Abstract of the United States
- Chicago Ghost Investigations: Chicago Ghost Tours
- Haunted Jacksonville: Historic and Haunted Tour of the Illinois Prairie
- Excursions Into the Unknown: Haunted Chicagoland Tours
- Historic Ghost Tours of Naperville, Illinois: About Our Ghost Tours
- Illinois Hauntings: History and Haunting Tours Since 1994